OK, Here's my story, thought it might be interesting and maybe useful to some folks who are thinking of buying a home or are in the process.
I've rented the same place for over eight years and am ready to spend all that money investing in my own house, building equity, etc. I am considered low or very-low income by many of the HUD standards and do not any large savings or ability to come up with a down payment.
I started researching first time home buyer options, along with down payment assistance. This led me to a lot of reading and research online to find some programs here in Washington state to assist low income folks in becoming home owners. After some realizations that even with some down payment assistance (second mortgage, grants, etc), I would only qualify for around $75,000 ,which in my area, is well below anything on the market.
After continuing to work toward finding a way to make this all happen, I found the USDA loan programs and decided to go ahead and apply for the USDA Direct Loan. A couple of things, I am without a vehicle, work weekend night, and need to be able to get to and from work. So I need to be within a reasonable distance, say two or three miles of 'town'. Because the USDA loans must be used for homes in the designated rural areas, I've got a small window of area to find a home, but I'm determined. With the Direct Loan (provided I can get a 38 year loan, which I am within the income limits for) I am hoping for around a $130k loan, which I could work with.
Another advantage of the USDA Loan, I don't need a downpayment (I do have a small grant of $5000 toward downpayment or closing costs, the Home$tart program) and I will probably/hopefully qualify for the subsidy on the interest rate. I am hoping that buying now is a wise long term investment, particularly with the USDA Direct loan program (which seems like a great deal for a buyer), and the way home prices and interest rates are currently (pretty low).
I turned in the first authorization about a month ago and then turned in the first Application on the November 6th (Election Day!). I was "approved for processing", received the letter on November 12th and turned in all the required paperwork (W2's, tax returns, pay stubs, etc) and $32 for a mortgage credit report on the 13th of November.
The day before Thanksgiving and I haven't heard anything yet… have my fingers crossed and positive thoughts though! My landlord did tell me she received a verification form from USDA and sent it back to them soon after I turned in the first application.
On the house front: I've been looking at houses already for awhile, keeping an eye on the market, options, etc.
Any advice, experiences, or insights into the USDA Direct Loan process, first time home buying, please share!
I'm hoping to qualify for the 38 year mortgage which will hopefully enable me to be able to realistically buy something in the area (because of prices a 30 year loan just won't get me enough to find something with my income). So any experience of insight into the 38 year USDA Direct Loan would be great! Thanks again, this forum has been really useful and I'm grateful to folks for posting!
Update November 26th. Called the USDA RD office here (talked to one of the people who was most recently processing my documentation/application) and was told that my info was received and that the underwriter was reviewing my file. I'm hoping that is good news... but trying to stay patient with this process!
Best of wishes to you. I look forward to reading your posts about your process.
We are just beginning the process with USDA direct.
HuntingMama: Dec 2012 = EQ scorewatch 649, TU myfico 649
HuntingPapa: Dec 2012 = EQ scorewatch 625, TU myfico (Nov 2012) 604
Same to you. Here's a link to the other similar thread on this topic which has more recent postings.. Good luck to you as well and love to hear how things go for you! Best in the New Year.